Wednesday, March 4, 2015

More Middle East Mess

Here we go again: more attention and involvement in other countries while our own country continues to sink.

More Middle East Mess

And so just as the U.S begins to spend less of its human and monetary resources in wars in other countries and just as the presidential campaign heads into a period of serious debate about what’s best for the U.S. economy, here we go again.

The protests and violence in Cairo and Benghazi, including the murder of a U.S. ambassador (reportedly sparked by anger over an online film offensive to Islam) and growing tensions between Israel and Iran force consideration of further U.S. involvement and expense in that part of the world and diminish attention to economic solutions in this part of the world.

It is an ongoing frustration that American leaders continue fruitlessly to attempt to solve the problems of other nations, to invest heavily in “spreading Democracy” in foreign countries, while so many of our own citizens suffer under a stagnant economy, untended infrastructure, schools and social programs that don’t work, and cities awash in poverty and crime.

I for one would prefer to see government resources aimed at fighting gun violence in Philadelphia rather than containing mobs in cultures that riot over internet movies.

How many decades, how much money, how many lives must be spent and lost attempting to solve unsolvable issues in the Middle East and elsewhere?

How many times must we watch cultural backlash that we repeatedly invite by constant and aggressive involvement in foreign affairs?

We spend billions of dollars on U.S. military missions in countries we then spend billions more to rebuild.

We spend money training Afghani soldiers who then kill U.S. soldiers.

We facilitate regime change in countries that then attack U.S. facilities.

The focus should shift from seeking to help the people of so many other countries “reach for a better future” to seeking to help our own people attain a better here and now.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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